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Ski Fitness - Ski-Specific Training

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As the name suggests, Ski-specific Training works on specific body muscles which are crucial in Skiing. Actually, it is important to have a full body workout, but for the purpose of Skiing, there are muscles that need to be focused on before the wintersport season. These include your leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, and shins. You also have to do some knee exercises since knee injuries are one of the most common lower body injuries in Skiing. In this section, we will look at the different exercises which can strengthen your legs and knees:Ski Fitness - Leg Exercise for Hamstring

Leg Exercises

Besides having aerobic exercises to develop Skiing stamina, most of your Endurance will also rely on your legs and how long they will hold out. Here are some specific leg muscles and the exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home:
  • For Outer and Inner Thighs
    Lie on your side. For your outer thigh, lift and lower your top leg with slightly bent knee. Then pulse it near the top of the range. Lift the top leg. With a flexed foot, bend and flex your knee. Afterwards, put it back on its original position. For the inner thigh, bend the top leg with your knee forward and out of way. Then lift and lower your bottom leg.

  • For Quadriceps
    These are the big leg muscles located in front of the thighs. You can work on quadriceps by doing several squats. This is the least complicated but the most effective exercise for quadriceps.

  • For Hamstrings
    Opposite the Quadriceps are the Hamstrings. To strengthen Hamstrings, lie on your abdomen and bend your knee so you flex your Hamstrings. This exercise will be more effective if you put ankle weights after some repetitions.

  • For Calf Muscles
    Skiing involves forward leg pressure so it is important to strengthen and stretch your Calf Muscles. You can do some calf raises to avoid aching Calf Muscles in Skiing. To do this strengthening exercise, stand flat on the ground, lift up to your toes, then lower your heels to the floor. You can do this with your feet in parallel position, with heels together and toes apart, and heels apart and toes together. Likewise, you need to stretch your Calf Muscles. Stand around 18 inches from a wall. Reach and touch the wall with your hands to give you support. Move one foot as far back as you can while slowly pressing your heel against the ground. Hold the stretch. After this, do the same with your other foot.

  • For Shins
    Shins are particularly helpful when you tend to keep your weight way
    far back and you attempt to correct it by pulling forward with your Shin muscles. You can strengthen your Shins through this simple exercise: sit down and attach a light weight on your toes. Lift your toes and pull them toward you while maintaining your heels on the floor.
Knee Exercises

Ski Fitness - Lunge You can cut your risks of having knee injuries if you strengthen your knees before Skiing. Some Knee Exercises are already part of your leg training. Here are some effective exercises to build up strength and stability to your knees:
  • Squats
    Do some Squats with or without additional weights. You can likewise perform leg presses by first lying down, then lift your legs perpendicular to your body, and then push up against a platform.

  • Leg Extensions
    Sit on a chair, and then lift your lower legs. Do this with or without ankle weights. You can also use a leg extension bench. Just sit down at one end of the bench and put both your feet under a weight bar. Bend and flex your legs to lift and lower the weights.

  • Lunges
    Be in a standing position. Step far back with your right leg while bending your front knee and your body weight slightly moving forward. Make sure that the forward knee does not extend beyond the foot. Do this exercise alternately and with or without weights.

  • Leg Curls
    Lie down on your stomach with your legs outstretched. After this, flex your lower legs toward your buttocks. You can do this exercise with or without weights. You can also make use of an apparatus to do Leg Curls. Just lie on your abdomen, position your ankles under the weight bar, and flex your legs toward your buttocks.


Having a full body exercise program is very important, but when you hit the slopes, you will realize that pre-season conditioning for your knees and leg muscles has its advantages. Aside from Leg and Knee Exercises, make sure you also have training in strengthening your upper body. Some exercises include Back Stretch, Chest and Arm Stretch, and Shoulder Stretch.


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Article Comments
David Bohmiller
Sunday 24th May 2009 at 11:21:06 PM  

Hi,

Great set of exercises and suggestions.

A very important factor for ski fitness that I''ve found in working with private and group clients over the past decade is the health of the hip (even moreso than the knee).

Yes, it''s important to strengthen the muscles around the knee, but focusing a fitness routine upon the mobility, stability, and strength of a skier''s hips will directly impact the instance of injury at the knee.

Anyway, great article. Keep up the good work!

David Bohmiller, BS, NSCA-CSCS
http://www.offseasonskiprogram.com

Abe
Friday 16th April 2010 at 1:26:38 PM  

I love mountain biking for cross training as well as the gym. Some of the same downhill fun and cardio. Lung and leg work on the climbs plus the scenery. A great trail is as good as a powder day.


 
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